21 September, 2020

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August 17th: Do Not Let The Titanic Sink Again

By Lukman Harees

Lukman Harees

Lukman Harees

It was the ship of dreams to everyone else. To me, it was a slave ship taking me back to America in chains.” – Rose, voiceover

On April 10, 1912, the Titanic, largest ship afloat, left Southampton, UK on her maiden voyage to New York City.. Four days into her journey, she collided with an iceberg , which proved fatal and 1522 passengers and crew died in vain. Captain Smith ,the man directly responsible for the loss of Titanic , failed to heed ice warnings, did not slow his ship when ice was reported directly in his path and allowed lifeboats to leave the sinking ship partially filled, unnecessarily adding at least 500 names to the list of the dead. This terrible disaster, today stands as a memorial to mankind’s over-confidence in technology and a reminder of how weak we are compared with the forces of nature.

Metaphorically, after the historic war victory in May 2009, euphoric Sri Lankans built a Titanic filled and decked with immense Hope and Aspirations for a united , peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka. Its’ Captain Smith – The War Hero MR quite rightly earned the confidence and trust of the passengers on board – people of Sri Lanka irrespective of their racial or religious differences, to take them to their dream destination. Not even 2 years in voyage, Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) too, like Captain Smith, made many serious mistakes. Throwing all caution to the winds, he allowed many corrupt and the racist elements to virtually hijack his engine control room and have their hands on his steering wheel. Titanic thus gradually began to sink, killing the soul of the nation and its’ social integrity and leaving the people of Sri Lanka in dire straits in mid sea ,isolating their country in the international arena by making it a ‘pariah’ state.

BBS MuslimAn overconfident MR too, ignored distress signals , refused to slow his ship or change his course despite sage advice , did not attach importance to the need for adequate ‘life boats’ on board, which made him to call an election two years in advance . No one ever thought that he will lose an election after being a ‘Winston Churchill’ winning a big war. However, people voted him out of power during a period of peak of his popularity as he failed to prove himself as a peacetime leader.

Now that the people of Sri Lanka after January 8th, are just about to start another Titanic voyage to travel to their dream destination, MR has started rising out of the ashes and staking another claim for another chance at the wheels citing his ‘credible’ track records. It is therefore very important that the passengers on board do not allow the likes of this Captain Smith and his dubious crew to take them to another Titanic disaster. People of Sri Lanka should no longer allow themselves to be treated like Mushrooms anymore ( fed with sh..t and kept in the dark). They should not allow their new Titanic to collide with another ice-burg- political corruption and communal politics.

Particularly, seeking votes by raising communal slogans and majoritarian cries should stop forthwith. In short, politics of communalism and racism should be shoved into the dustbins of history. Our President Sirisena has led from the front in this regard right throughout his election campaign and after. His warning letter to MR recently was very succinct and clear, where he accused MR of fuelling communal hatred and said: ‘I urge you not to make statements that fan the flames of ethnic hatred,”. CBK too made an appeal to the electorate to refrain from voting for characters like MR and to vote for whatever ‘animal’ they like. She may have obviously not meant ‘BJP Cobras’ when she referred to animals, (who ) were ironically the icons of racism and communalism in modern Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka’s top business and professionals’ organisations too have appealed to political parties to ensure communal, racial and religious harmony during and after the polls and to all voters to vote to a stable government enabling and guaranteeing all Sri Lankans to live in harmony. “We strongly believe that the country has undergone many calamities and socio-political upheavals, resulting in instability in the past few decades, thus preventing the nation realizing its dreams. Such an environment ultimately brought about the current economic setbacks and therefore it is immensely important for all concerned parties to appreciate the imminent need for stability, the social cohesion and the communal, racial and religious harmony to build a prosperous nation.”, their joint statement said. 

It is therefore important that voters cast their votes with s sense of responsibility this time too, to weed out all forms of racist and communal viruses and help the NEW TITANIC to be navigated by a Captain with an unblemished record sans corruption and inciting communal feelings. Let the entire parliamentary crew be of the same ‘good’ breed whether South or North, East or West- those who have a wider vision for our country and don’t see through parochial lens.

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  • 0
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    Those who voted for ‘Good Governance’ never voted for Ranil. Ranil becoming prime minister never penetrated the public mind as something catastrophic. Furthermore there was no alternative but to give the prime minister post to UNP, since Maithripala’s campaign was entirely fueled by UNP. General public was used to seeing executive presidents running the show and prime minister being a more or less a figure head. Nobody thought RW would run the show and Maithripala would take a back seat. At least nobody thought Maithripala would take the farthest seat from driver to enjoy the scenic beauty and never worry where the vehicle was headed. To have complete faith on RW for a politician of Maithripala’s stature was just beyond reason for many Good Governance advocates. It just put the entire country in harm’s way.

    Furthermore giving a majority in the parliament to UPFA means President Maithripala would also have a significant influence on the conduct of the government. In the case of UNP government Maithripala would be hugely sidelined, simply because no UNP minister would go beyond Ranil’s word. But if UPFA is in power, Maithripala could work with UPFA MP’s at a personal level. This is simply because he has been working with them for the past so many years. So UPFA winning means more purposeful involvement of Maithripala in the strategic decision making of the government. Associates of Mahinda Rajapakse could be moderated also by Maithripala. So setting aside the personal agitation President Maithripala has of Mahinda Rajapakse, UPFA coming to power in August17th general election and Mahinda Rajapakse becoming prime minister is a far better outcome than giving power to sinister Ranil and his gang of buddies, even from the point of view of president Maithripala

    In order to ensure the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, it is a must that Ranil is not made the prime minister. In order to ensure the average Sri Lankan lives are enriched it is a must that Ranil is not made the prime minister. In order to make sure that our younger generations are passed on a united, undivided Sri Lanka it is a must that Ranil is not made the prime minister. The only way to make sure of that is by voting for UPFA and making sure that August17 doesn’t become day of resentment for generations to come. We should be vigilant to the fact that politicians of minority parties are hell bent on diving this country with the help of foreign powers. Foreign powers are supporting these politicians so as to exert their influence on the South Asian region through Sri Lanka. Ranil will do as told by these external forces and be completely ignorant of the native Sri Lankan peoples demands. This moment is a critical juncture of our history, mess it up and we would be opening up the doors to hell. Make the correct decision and we can protect our country so that we can work on improving living standards of each and every Sri Lankan. That correct decision is voting for UPFA and ensuring Ranil Wickramasinghe does not become the prime minister !!!!

    [Edited out]

  • 3
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    well written article and a good poser for the voters before they go for the vote tomorrow. Saving the next Titanic is our only hope for a better tomorrow.

    Tomorrow’s VOTE IS whether to prop up the Rajapaksa family fortunes OR to establish a people friendly government sans corruption and majoritarianism.

  • 1
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    Well.wrriten piece of writing. Very good analytical and description of our political situation. The comparison is fitting well. I hope we do our ship does not collide as Titanic. This is vey good opportunity for people to think carefully before they vote..
    For me Ranil is best option than MR. We know what MR did.
    He was in a driving seat when defeated LTTE but he collided his good will with bad examples.
    how many of them.His second term went out of control.
    Goata got power, Basil got power, His son, his brothers all behaved like presidents.
    All.sort of frauds, mismanagement and you name it.
    it God send some one to save this nation..
    it was marriage of political convnneince that save this nation?
    Unthinkable took place. If you do not like UNP. Please vote for JVP.
    These young people are honest, educated, loyal and above they do politics to serve our nation not earn money as others. .
    vote JVP your problem between MR and Ranil.will.be over.
    AKD is many time better than MR and Ranil
    give one vote from you family

  • 1
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    I hope Captain RW’s failure to discipline the Governor of the Central Bank will not be like an ice-berg for Sri Lanka. The resultant chaos in life and limb, opportunity lost etc will never be comparable to the loss of the Titanic. Pray God that at least the crew will be more attentive and somehow, the “ship” will only scrape the ice-berg, or worst case, only four of the holds and not six will be damaged!!

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